Unemployment Issues Spark Debate During Legislative Briefing

Multiple issues with unemployment benefits - from the Governor's recent decision to withdraw from expanded federal benefit levels, to new frustrations with recipient access - fueled a two-hour meeting of a House of Delegates committee. During the June 8 meeting of the House Economic Matters Committee, Administration officials discussed their ongoing efforts to improve and complete access to unemployment benefits amidst a worry of fraudulent applications, and defended the Governor's decision to discontinue Marylanders' receipt…

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Governor: Schools in 21-22 Without Masks, Distancing

Governor Hogan speaking to media during an event today, raised his hopes that Maryland public schools would be back open in the fall, and without masks or social distancing protocols. During a visit to the Novavax facility in Montgomery County, Governor Hogan responded to questions about the coronavirus pandemic, the vaccination effort, and related matters. His comments about the coming school year, however, may take the main attention from the day's media coverage. From coverage…

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Anne Arundel Ends COVID Emergency, Extends Outdoor Dining Privileges

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman this week signed legislation to provide restaurants with continued outdoor dining privileges through November and an executive order that officially terminates the County’s State of Emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the bill and executive order went into effect upon signature. County Executive Pittman issued the following statement: “Signing Bill 55-21 supports our local business owners as they continue recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic. I want…

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Join NACo for a COVID-19 Vaccination Town Hall

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National League of Cities and CVS for a COVID-19 Vaccination Town Hall on Wednesday, June 16, 4:00 PM EST. Hear the latest on the vaccine rollout, and discuss COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, the importance of continued COVID-19 testing and more. A panel of health care professionals will answer your questions about vaccinations and COVID-19. Call Details:Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pmDial-In:  Registration required to…

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Hot off the Press: New Treasury Guidance on ARPA Funding

The US Department of the Treasury today released a revised Frequently Asked Questions document that provides clarification on eligible expenses and reporting requirements for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund). As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Recovery Fund, authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act, is providing $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, as well as other crucial investments in local communities. Specifically, the revised…

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State & Local Employment Still Down, Trailing National Trends

Despite a jump in overall employment, the latest reports show state and local jobs remaining unfilled, notably in education. While the American economy, with its mystifying mix of signs and signals, has continued to regain many jobs lost during the pandemic, job totals in state and local governments appear to be recovering more slowly. From coverage on Route Fifty, "State and Local Employment Remains Stubbornly Down" comes this insight: State and local government employment was…

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State Launching Grants to Accelerate, Expand Vax Rollout

Govenor Hogan has announced a plan to offer $3 million in grants to community groups, to expand and improve vaccination rates. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is accepting applications from community-based organizations for the Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project. This project is part of the state’s ‘No Arm Left Behind’ initiative to ensure vaccines are available to every Marylander who wants one. To date, Maryland has reported more than 6.3 million vaccinations, and the state…

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NACo Counties at Work Virtual Summit – June 10-11

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) on June 10 and 11 for the Counties at Work Virtual Summit. With automation, shifting demographics and the vast impacts of COVID-19 and increased remote work opportunities, America’s counties are planning for evolving workforce and industry needs.This free, two-day online event will feature experts and effective county solutions for many workforce issues, beginning at 11:30 am, Thursday, June 10 with remarks from keynote speaker, U.S. Secretary of Labor…

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Montgomery County Addresses Diversity and Inclusion in Virtual Town Hall

Montgomery County will host a panel of experts to address "the impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce and strategies that businesses and workers can pursue to bring women back to work." On Friday, June 11, a virtual town hall will be held as a part of Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Economic Revitalization and Recovery program. Female employment is at a 30-year low, and "nationwide, there were 1.9 million fewer women in the workforce…

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MD to Reinstate Work Requirement for Unemployment Benefits

Maryland is poised to return to its standard work-search requirements for unemployment benefits, suspended during the longterm pandemic. Amidst multiple changes to, and frustrations with, the unemployment insurance program, Maryland is heading toward reinstating the work search requirement for recipients of benefits. From coverage in the Baltimore Sun: Unemployment insurance traditionally requires recipients to show they’re looking for a job. That changed in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit. Maryland, like other states, suspended its…

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